12 - June 26:
Asked numerous friends and associates for
recommendations for other HVAC companies dealing with
either traditional or geothermal heat pumps. I
didn't want to go through the yellow book and take a
chance. I wanted companies that others have dealt
with and knew to be reputable. Called the six
companies that were recommended most often.
this time, we also did as much research as possible on the
costs and benefits of both systems. We discovered
that the life expectancy of the ground-source was twice
that of the air-source. The ground-source heat pump
has an EER of 30, while the most efficient & reliable
air-source has an SEER of 16. (There are higher
rated SEER air-source heat pumps, but the cost savings in
energy are minimal over a 16 SEER, and there is a higher
failure rate and consequential maintenance cost associated
important as the cost factor was in our choice, we also
wanted to examine the environmental factor. By
choosing to go with a ground-source system, our
environmental footprint would be cut in half. With
the rising cost of energy and the increased demand for
energy, we felt a pressing need to be more responsible in
our energy consumption.
our cost crunching included:
- An online
energy audit to estimate our actual electric
bill. Compared the two systems with our current
estimates: $1017.97/yr projected
estimates: $529.89/yr projected
has a 10-year life expectancy
has a +20-year life expectancy
provides 75% of hot water needs free
has half the environmental foot-print
- As the
cost of electricity climbs, the savings from
geothermal would be even more significant
maintenance costs are moderate
maintenance costs are low
that it would take approximately 7 years for the
geothermal system to begin paying for itself.
That's +13 years of projected, drastically reduced
We decided on Geothermal. Specifically a
WaterFurnace Envision Series. We decided to go
Heating & Air, because John Love took the time and
effort to really explain every facet of both the
traditional and the geothermal heating systems.
John's friendly professionalism and his competitive
pricing won our respect and our trust.
Started shopping for a home equity loan.
30 - July 4:
and compared home equity loan info from three
different banks. Because we were out-of-town the
majority of this week, and because of it being the 4th of
July, this was sort of a lost week.
an appointment with K.E.B. Duct Cleaning for July
22nd to have our ductwork cleaned. We don't want to put in a new system only to have
years and years of old dust gumming it up.
Met with John Love of Love's
Heating & Air, and Buddy Winslow of Winslow
Pump and Well in our home to sign a contract for the
purchase of our geothermal heat pump system. Buddy
made some preliminary estimates of where the wells will be
Pump and Well came by to mark and measure where the
three wells for our 3 ton system will be located for the
purpose of submitting the plans to the county for permits.
Buddy Winslow called to let me know that they had
hand-carried our request for permits over to the
county. Now we wait for Miss
Utility to mark all underground utilities.
Utility - The water & sewer, and the cable company
were out to mark the lines today.
Signed our home equity loan.
Utility - Electric and phone were marked today.
and Stu came by after all of the utilities were marked
to more accurately mark and measure the placement of the
wells. Buddy Winslow ... Very knowledgeable, very
thorough and very personable.
will be straight across our back yard. Each well is
15' from the other.
wait for the permits from the county.
of previous plans, we informed Buddy that it would be best
for us if installation began after June 28th.
Check arrived from bank. Deposited check and
contacted Love's Heating & Air to let them know.
K.E.B. Duct Cleaning came today and cleaned
out our ducts. Chris Richards did a wonderful job;
company I'll be recommending.
John Love called to let
us know that our equipment is in!
permits are in! Winslow Pump and Well will be here
on Thursday to start digging.
awoke to three big trucks in the cul-de-sac, and a very
large drilling rig in the back yard. I suppose I
should mention now that our house sits on a lot that is
about .15 acre.
addition to the truck with the drilling rig, one of the
trucks had all of the equipment, one had a water tank and
one towed a trailer with a backhoe.
Rob, and Eric were the young men who did all of the
work. I really was quite impressed with their
knowledge of the entire process, and with their expertise
in maneuvering around our small yard with so much
ground ... Right away Jay began to dig a small trench next
to where the first well would go. Connecting to that
trench, and and accessible to all of the wells, he dug a
very large pit. Water was pumped into this pit for
the purpose of pumping it down into the wells as they were
being dug. In addition to being a bit of a lubricant
for the whole drilling process, the water also facilitates
the removal of dirt, rock, clay, etc. up and out of the
drilled hole. For the geothermal piping/tubing to
have adequate surface area to either absorb or release
heat, each of our three wells has to be 200' deep.
In a vertical loop, each ton in the geothermal system
equals one 200' well. We're getting a three-ton
system installed, hence the three wells.
found the entire drilling process fascinating.
There's probably been something on the Discovery Channel
showing how it's done, but seeing it happen in your own
back yard is definitely more realistic than even
HDTV. If you take a look at the photos, I hope they
capture a bit of what it looked like. (I'll get the
videos online soon.)
Rob, and Eric finished digging all three of the wells
guys from Winslow arrived today, but didn't stay
long. They scooped some of the clay from the
trenches down into the wells, unstuck the well rig and
back! Jay and Rob started bright and early digging
the connecting trench today, but the track on their
backhoe went kerfluey. See you tomorrow morning!
back ... again ... with another backhoe. Today they dug
the trench connecting everything and brought the pipes
into the house.
photos show what the geothermal pipe
looks like. How deep the trenches are. What
the loop at the bottom of the well looks like. The
diameter of the wells. How they insert the pipe down
into the well. The grout mixture that backfills the
wells once the loop is inserted. The trench
connecting the wells to each other and then to the
house. I tried to show how they heat-fused the
pieces of piping together. What the fused pipe
looked like laying in the trench. Pressure testing
the pipe for integrity. And finally, the backfilling
of my yard.
looking at all of the photos, you'll get a pretty good
idea of what you'll be facing when you decide to go
green. When I look at my yard, I cringe right
now. However, I know that a year from now I'll never
even be able to tell anything was done. I keep
reminding myself that this is a process with a beginning
and an end. The end will be more than worth any of
the inconvenience we're experiencing now in the beginning.
and Mike from
Works, LLC stopped by this evening. Mike and
Suzanne will be the ones returning our now brown yard back
John Love called and we scheduled installation of our
geothermal WaterFurnace for next Tuesday!
John Love, Greg and Mike knocked on my door ready to begin
on the next and final phase of our geothermal installation -
installing and connecting the geothermal tubing inside, removing
the old air-source heat pump, installing a new hot water heater
and hot water storage tank, and installing the new WaterFurnace
geothermal heat pump.
Before I go any further, I want
to thank the entire team at Love's Heating and Air. The
installation in my finished laundry room was a tight fit.
John measured, figured, re-configured, and went to a LOT of
extra effort to make sure that my laundry room remained as
functional as it was prior to the installation. All the
while maintaining a positive, friendly manner. I really
appreciate that. Really.
Today was the configuring
exactly the best way to fit everything into the space, hooking
up the tubing, mounting the flow center, and filling the tubing
with Environal 2000.
John has a team of five today. Greg and Mike are back, in
addition to Lindy the plumber and Brent the electrician.
Fortunately, the weather
cooperated with us. The temperatures stayed in the low 80s all
day which was excellent, because the air had to be turned off
while the old air handler was removed and the new WaterFurnace
geothermal heat pump was installed.
All of that work for this
... our new furnace!
Our first all geo electric bill came in the mail today!
Today's electric bill ..... $158!!!! Wahoo!!!Remember the $280 electric bill that arrived before the
We waited two months for the ground to settle over the
trenches. A few really good soaking rains seemed to
get everything all settled in. Time to think about
restoring our lawn.
Mike Latham of
Mike's Works, LLC and his helper, Richard, arrived
this morning with a tractor, rakes and some bales of hay.
A new yard?!?!
Click HERE to
see the Savings on our Electric Bill!!